Excitement builds for festivities surrounding Jaguars-Chiefs playoff game

City of Jacksonville, Jaguars to host team send-off Friday, watch party Saturday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Excitement is growing about the Jaguars-Chiefs playoff game this weekend, and many Jacksonville fans want to know how they can get involved even if they aren’t heading to Kansas City.

The city of Jacksonville and the Jaguars will be hosting a send-off for the players on Friday before the team flies out to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in a divisional-round matchup and then a watch party for the playoff game on Saturday.

The send-off is set for 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday in Lots J and P outside of the Gallagher Club West Gate at TIAA Bank Field. The team will be at the stadium for meetings and a closed practice earlier, and players will leave individually during that time. There is no pep rally, but fans can cheer on the players, who will hopefully come up and speak as they make their way to their cars to then drive to the airport.

If you go to the send-off, parking will be free at the stadium, and fans will be kept in certain areas around the Jaguars statue.

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The watch party is planned for Saturday afternoon at the Daily’s Place amphitheater.

Here’s the schedule for that:

  • Lots J and P open at 3 p.m.,
  • Gate 1 opens at 3:30 p.m.,
  • And then the viewing begins at 4:30 p.m. when the game kicks off.

There will be food available from vendors and gear for the fans.

Admission and parking for the watch party are free, but you must reserve your spot here: https://am.ticketmaster.com/jaguars/DDWP. As of 1 p.m. Thursday, spots were still available, News4JAX was told. Daily’s Place holds about 5,500 people, and News4JAX was told there will not be any walk-ups allowed.

Jaguars fans are pumped about the big game and the festivities surrounding the matchup.

News4JAX caught up with Marquis Bob, who was wearing Jaguars gear, as he was getting lunch downtown on Thursday. He said he might be flying out Friday to the game, but if not, he has a reservation at Daily’s Place for the watch party.

“It’s exciting,” he said.

Other fans told News4JAX that they cannot make it to the watch party, but plan on watching the game their own way.

“Well, since I’m going to be working, I’m going to be watching it on my phone,” said a Jaguars fan named Michael. “And it’s actually an important game for me because my uncle is from Kansas. It’s going to be like my family is split in half on the weekend so.”

But he said he “obviously” will be cheering for Jacksonville.

“Because I live in Duval County,” he said, “I’ve got to represent.”

News4JAX also talked with some of the players in the locker room about how the enthusiasm from the city is motivating them.

“I feel like it’s a different energy around the town, and everybody’s happy to see us getting wins and see where we’re at now and the success we’re having,” said offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor. “So we’re just trying to keep that going and keep bringing wins to the city of Jacksonville.”

“It’s been amazing. I feel like they’ve really fed off the energy that we’ve brought, and now we’re trying to be able to feed off their energy, and they’ve really brought it the past, you know, two home games being big prime-time games and helped us, you know, be able to come back from deficits in both of those,” said offensive lineman Walker Little. “And obviously, we’re going to be on the road this week, but we still know that we have the sport of the city behind us.”

On Thursday, News4JAX also learned that Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s special bet with the mayor of Kansas City on the game was accepted.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.